Become a Customer Service Pro on Facebook

Allison Howen
by Allison Howen 02 Dec, 2015

As the world becomes more connected, more customers are turning to social networks for their customer service needs. Often, however, these customers are left with a disappointing experience.

In fact, 33 percent of customers who contact brands with a customer service question on social media never get a response at all according to 2015 data from The Northridge Group. By not responding to customers, brands are putting themselves at risk for not only losing sales, but also losing loyal customers and receiving a negative online reputation.

Fortunately, Facebook made it easier for brands to improve their social customer service initiatives with updates to its Messaging feature for Pages. Discover how your brand can become a Facebook customer service pro by checking out the tips below:

Turn on Messaging and be Responsive

The Page Messaging feature can be turned on and off by admins in the Messages tab, but once it is turned on, Pages need to be ready to respond. In fact, Facebook rewards responsive Pages with a "very responsive to messages" badge that tells Page visitors that the brand can be reached effectively through messaging. To achieve this badge, brands must have a response rate of 90 percent with a median response time of five minutes when the Messaging feature is turned on. This badge is beneficial to brands because it makes them appear approachable to customers, which gives the brand the opportunity to foster loyalty and strengthen relationships.

Aside from the badge, however, brands can also select a "Response Time Display" in the "Settings" menu on their Page, which ranges from "typically replies in minutes" to "typically replies in a day." For this feature to display, brands must visit their Page at least once a week and answer 75 percent or more of their messages (see image).

Tip: To ensure responsiveness, admins should make sure that the "Get a notification each time your Page receives a message" option is selected under the "Notifications" tab in the "Settings" menu.

Leverage Saved Replies

Facebook unveiled a "Saved Reply" feature back in August, which helps admins respond faster to incoming messages. To use this feature, admins just need to click any message in the "Messages" tab on their Page, click "Manage Replies" and then click "Create Reply." Once the reply is saved it can be used to quickly respond to frequently asked questions. Admins can also personalize saved replies with options like using the person or admin's first or last name (see image). Plus, admins can edit the saved response before sending it.

Tip: Admins can also visit the "Messaging" tab in the "Settings" menu to leverage Instant Replies. This feature allows users to send an automatic response to a customer after the first time they message the Page. This feature will not send, however, if the admin has marked the business as "Away."

Respond Privately

Facebook also made it easier for brands to respond to customers privately in August, as the social network unveiled a private message feature for public comments. To reply privately to a customer comment, Page admins simply need to click the "Message" option on the customer's post (see image). Once this is done a private message thread with the commenter will open and the message from the Page includes a link to the customer's comment for reference.

What's more, when a business responds privately to a comment, the comment shows a note that the business responded privately. This lets other Page visitors know that the comment didn't go unnoticed and shows that the business is responsive.

Tip: For a lesson in public customer service take a look at Nordstrom's Facebook Page. The retailer responds to nearly every comment publicly and includes the names of its customer service agents for reference.

Use the Send Message CTA

Brands can promote their social customer service on Facebook by leveraging the "Send Message" call-to-action (CTA) on local awareness ads (see image). This allows people to start private conversations with businesses directly from the News Feed.

Tip: Brands can also feature the "Send Message" CTA at the bottom of their Page's cover photo. In fact, Facebook enables brands to feature one out of several CTAs here, including "Book Now," "Sign Up" and "Call Now."

Sign Up for Businesses on Messenger

Facebook unveiled Businesses on Messenger at its F8 conference, which enables consumers to sign up to connect with a brand in Messenger when they are checking out on that brand's website (see image).

When signed up for this feature, brands can send detailed messages with custom layouts designed for order confirmation, shipping updates and more. At launch, Facebook partnered with Zendesk to power business communications on Businesses on Messenger. Through the integration, companies can engage with customers and manage support requests from Messenger using the sale Zopim tools they already use for live chat. This gives businesses a new way to offer support to their customers.

Tip: Conversocial also recently launched an integration with Facebook Messenger that enables brands to offer real-time, personal and secure customer service.